The Akrofuom District in the Ashanti Region has celebrated its 5 years anniversary with a call on the district to remain focused on promoting sustainable agriculture, enhancing inclusive and equitable quality education, promoting gender equality, ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water resources and sanitation, and promoting peaceful and inclusive communities for sustainable development.
The district was carved out of the Adansi South District in November 2017 and inaugurated on 15th March, 2018.
The theme for the 5th year anniversary was "The Akrofuom District @ 5; the Benefits of Decentralisation".
Speaking on behalf of the Ashanti Regional Minister Hon Simon Osei Mensah who was the guest of honor for the occasion, an Administrator of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council Dr. Francis Owusu Ansah highlighted the challenges that Ghana's local governance system has faced since independence, including political instability, administrative inconsistencies, human resource constraints, and a lack of adequate logistics for the operationalization of District Assemblies.
He traced the history of local governance in Ghana, from the manipulation of traditional authorities by the British to the appointment of local government officials by both military and civilian governments, and highlighted the significance of the Akuse group's report in 1983, which paved way for the establishment of 65 districts, increasing to 110 over time.
He emphasized Government's commitment to decentralization and local government in Ghana, as evidenced by the extension of greater authority to Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies to improve performance, reduce central government expenditures, and make them more accountable to the people.
He noted the proposed amendments to the Local Governance Act 936 of 2016 and the redesignation of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Local Rural Development as evidence of the government's commitment to transforming decentralization and local government in Ghana.
The Ashanti Regional Minister further stressed the importance of maintaining security and revenue collection in the district and called on security agencies and revenue collectors to be vigilant and accountable in their respective roles.
Giving an account of the history behind the creation of the district, Dr. Maurice Jonas Woode explained that prior to 2004, Akrofuom was part of the erstwhile Adansi West District and the Obuasi Constituency.
He said former President John Agyekum Kufour created a new constituency, Akrofuom, when he was creating new ones back in 2004. Despite their efforts to become a district at the time, he said they were declined due to their inability to meet the criteria.
He added that the Adansi West District, which combined the Obuasi East constituency, Obuasi West constituency, Fomena constituency, and Akrofuom constituency, was created as a result, while Asokwa constituency and New Edubiase constituency were combined to form the Adansi East District.
"In 2016, during his campaign, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo visited the community and was approached by the Chiefs and Elders of Akrofuom, who pleaded with him to create a district for them despite not meeting the requirements. After he won the 2016 elections, he fulfilled his promise and created 38 districts in November 2017, with the Akrofuom District being one of them," he stated.
The Akrofuom DCE seized the opportunity to highlight on the achievements the district has chalked since its establishment. He mentioned great strides made in infrastructural development in the health, roads, education and agricultural sectors of the district.
Hon. Maurice Jonas Woode paid glowing tribute to the traditional authorities in the district for their support in providing lands for development, and to the Member of Parliament for providing financial support to level the ground for the new hospital being built. He also thanked the Rotary Club of Obuasi for its contributions, and other organizations for the support.
Hon. Alex Blankson, the Member of Parliament for Akrofuom constituency thanked the President His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, for the pivotal role he played in the creation of the district, aimed at promoting popular participation in decision-making, good governance at the local level, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in government machinery, eradicating rural poverty and ensuring representation in all spheres.
Hon. Blankson revealed that the establishment of the Akrofuom District was a blessing and has witnessed significant developments. He emphasized that the district has provided empowerment, participation, accountability, and effectiveness governance since its inception.
He also stated that the district has made significant progress in terms of infrastructural development, including roads, hospitals, schools, and all sectors of the economy which he thanked the DCE Hon. Dr. Maurice Jonas Woode for his exemplary leadership.
Hon. Blankson acknowledged key role played by Hon Appiah Pinkrah the former Member of Parliament for Akrofuom Constituency and promised to continue his legacy.
Nana Kutin Ansah Adu, Gyaasehene of Ayaase Traditional area who was the Chairman of the occasion expressed appreciation to all the chiefs who contributed to the establishment of the Akrofuom District, particularly by providing land for developmental projects.